In what can only be the most ridiculously transparent and laughable attempt to entice Scotland into not leaving the “United” Kingdom, the British Government has announced that it is planning to create a spaceport for commercial spaceflights by 2018, and SIX out of the eight potential sites are in Scotland.
“Spaceports will be key to us opening up the final frontier of commercial space travel,” said UK treasury minister Danny Alexander.
I have visions of a car with live camera feed driving up to the house of the leader of Scotland (the future “Space Heart”?) and bringing up a big check for a surprise award on live national television (although I don’t think even the BBC would stoop to that level of tripe on their channels…). “Congratulations! You just won a spaceport!” (followed by said Scottish leader grumbling something about needing more coffee, that it must be a thursday, and he’s going back inside to read the paper…).
Aside from the fact that there is no spaceplane to fly from said spaceport, the 300 Million pounds of funding the UK government could be better spent on other space-related activities (such as funding of nano-sat incubators where student engineers and entrepreneurs could work on building such technology and developing real skills). Of course, the UK government actually wants Sir Richard Branson to build the port – which is silly as it flies in the face of the model for airports and seaports. If you believe that commercial demand is there and that it will drive $ into the local economy, then invest in infrastructure.
However, if you realize that it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars and unlikely to be anything more than window dressing and a great PR stunt, then by all means continue.